Division of Criminal Justice Services

Missing Persons Clearinghouse

2019 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

Contest Rules

Applicants must be in the fifth grade.

Artwork should reflect and must include this phrase in its entirety on the poster “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. Please note this slogan has slightly changed from last year.

The theme may be depicted in the student’s artwork through one or a combination of illustrations (e.g., signs and symbols, people, abstract, industry, wildlife) and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons, and pastels. Digitally produced images, collages, cutouts, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration.

The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches.

The poster must be submitted with a completed application, which includes a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist, either written legibly or typed.

Judging Criteria

Complete contest rules must be followed at all levels of the competition.

Incomplete packages and incorrectly sized posters will not be eligible for judging.

Artwork will be judged on:

  • Creativity
  • Reflection of the contest theme
  • Originality in design

Written applications will be judged on:

  • Comprehension of the theme
  • Clarity
  • Grammar and syntax appropriate to the fifth-grade level

Awards - State Level

The New York State 1st Place winner will be entered into the national judging competition.

The New York State winners will be awarded Amazon gift cards:
1st Place ($100), 2nd Place ($75), 3rd Place ($50).

Qualifying entries received will be on display at the NYS Empire Plaza during the week of Missing Children’s Day, May 25, 2019 and may be used in publications, exhibits, displays and on websites as determined by DCJS.

Awards - National Level

Each state winner, whose poster is selected to go to the national judging competition, will receive a national award certificate from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The national winner, his/her teacher (or designee from selected school) and parents/guardians (typically two people), and the state manager will be invited to Washington, D.C., to participate in the U.S. DOJ's National Missing Children's Day ceremony on May 22, 2019. Transportation and lodging will be provided. The national winner will also receive a national award certificate, a United States Savings Bond, and a professional print of their poster.

The national winner and one parent/guardian will be invited to the 2020 ceremony to present the award to the poster contest winner.

The National Winner will be notified in April 2019. Travel arrangements are initiated for attendance at the 2019 National Missing Children’s Day Ceremony.

Winning Poster

The national winning poster:

Becomes the property of U.S. DOJ and will be displayed at DOJ, congressional offices, and other locations as determined by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Any applicable copyrights will be held by those offices.

May be used in publications, exhibits, displays and on websites, as determined by OJJDP and U.S. DOJ.

Will be presented as the national symbol for the 2020 Missing Children's Day.


Click here for an application and parent/guardian release form

Click here for a Missing Children’s Day discussion guide for educators

Entries must be postmarked by January 25th, 2019 and sent to:

Division of Criminal Justice Services
Missing Persons Clearinghouse
80 South Swan Street
Albany, NY 12210

For more information call 1-800-346-3542 or email missingpersons@dcjs.ny.gov

winning poster 2018
2018 1st Place Poster